Hours: Lunch, dinner: seven days
Open late: Friday & Saturday till midnight, other nights till 11
Multiuse space with a butcher, sandwich counter, bar, and steak house (the last serves dinner only).
A multipurpose butcher shop, restaurant, and bar in the shadow of the Wicker Park Blue Line stop, the Chop Shop succeeds by doing a lot with a little. Blessed with some old-school butcher cred—one of the partners is a scion of the family behind Niles's great Minelli Meat & Deli—it keeps the retail offerings relatively conventional, featuring deli meats and cheeses, antipasti, a refrigerator case of sausages, and lovely but not terribly unusual hunks of meat. Its dining room, too, has an appealingly simple menu, showcasing just four meaty cuts from the butcher, plus Italian sausage and peppers, roast chicken, seared salmon, a burger, and ricotta gnocchi. Chef Joshua Marelli implements effectively minimalist dishes: a naked, 16-ounce, dry-aged, bone-in rib eye with bordelaise sauce; a ten-ounce New York strip with a pool of bearnaise surrounding a modest smear of potato puree; a buttery, bloody, sliced hanger steak garnished with fresh green peppercorns, alongside shoestring fries. If the steaks seem spare, a handful of sides—from a crock of buttery spaghetti squash to tiny brussels sprouts and kohlrabi batons larded with bacon to garlicky, bitter rapini—can help round things out. And you'll find the prices significantly cheaper than at most downtown steak houses. What with the multidisciplinary approach, the Chop Shop might not be the first place that comes to mind when you're looking for a special night out. But it's a worthy stop when you just want a piece of meat, flawlessly prepared—or a raw one to take home. Read the full review >>
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The cocktail program at the bar within this multiuse space lends itself to snacking, and for that the in-house butcher provides a charcuterie board of fatty duck rillettes, pancetta-wrapped pork paté, chicken liver mousse, and thin, diaphanous sheets of luscious guanciale, among other bites. There are also plenty of beers on tap, as well as both lunch and late-night menus. The bar's open till 2 AM on Fridays and Saturday, other nights till midnight. —Mike Sula